Friday, 26 October 2012

Ten days of Onam Celebrations

Onam celebrations run for ten days starting with the day of ‘Attam Nakshatram’in the month of chingam which comes between august and September on the English calendar. Traditionally breakfast for all ten days consist of steamed bananas and fried pappads. Swings decked with flowers are hung from high tree branches for children to play on. The flower bed or the traditional atha-pookalam is started on this day. More circular rows of flowers are added on the following days of onam. Particular flowers are selected on each day for specific deities. ‘attachamayam’ is the grand procession that marks the beginning of onam. This is in remembrance of the former royal processions and is carried out in full majestic pomp with decorated elephants, folk art presentations, music and dance. Snake boat races are held on the fifth day. Thiruvonam is the most important and the final tenth day on which the legendary king of Kerala is believed to visit his beloved kingdom and the elaborate onam feasts called ona-sadya are served on banana leaves.

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